Posts Tagged ‘wavefunction’

15 Entanglement

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

Quantum entanglement is the notion that two detections of light, understood to be two photons created together in a single compound event, are part of the same phenomenon or event, and that the whole is properly described by a single mathematical function, or ‘wavefunction’.

This much is perfectly reasonable, so far as it goes. However, there is a further argument, dating back to von Neumann, that this means that what you do as an experimenter in measuring one part of this event (detecting one photon) has an effect, instantaneously and at a distance, on the other. There are two ways in which this whole topic is often handled poorly in the physics literature, and these are commonly obscured by the complex and often metaphysical language used. (more…)

9 The fall of physics: quantum theory

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Of the two ‘great theories’ of twentieth century physics, quantum mechanics is known as the more mysterious, the more impenetrable to rational, deterministic analysis, a strange and bizarre theory that requires a complete rethink of scientific method and principle. We will not find any of this to be the case.

Einstein said of quantum mechanics that ‘One ought really to be ashamed of the successes, as they are obtained with the help of the Jesuitic rule: “One hand must not know what the other does”’[i]

Later, in 1951, he wrote to his friend Besso: ‘What are light quanta?  Nowadays every Tom, Dick and Harry thinks he knows it, but he is mistaken.’ (more…)